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Offshore Taxation
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Offshore Taxation in Bahamas
 
 
 

General

In the Bahamas, the term 'offshore' is not used in Bahamian legislation or in describing company forms. Abstaining from local trading activity is the key factor which allows use of the various 'offshore' corporate forms, and ensures long term exemption from taxation and some or all of stamp duty, exchange controls and business licensing requirements. Since there are no general corporate taxes other than stamp duty, there is no separate 'offshore' sector as such in taxation terms.

There is no income or corporation tax, no capital gains tax, no VAT or sales tax, and no withholding tax in the Bahamas. Companies and partnerships pay annual fees to the Government depending on their nature and capitalisation. There is stamp duty and there are some property taxes. Exempted Limited Partnerships are exempt from both, as are Trusts provided that their beneficiaries are non-resident. Banks and Trust Companies (ie. administrators of trusts) are also exempt provided that they have non-resident licences (this is a matter of practice – a licence is issued as resident or non-resident depending on circumstances). All of the offshore entities, and non-resident domestic companies, are exempt from exchange controls. Mutual Funds are exempt from taxes and exchange controls if they have an appropriate corporate form; in practice therefore they are exempt.

Fees Payable by Financial Institutions

Financial institutions licensed under the Banks and Trust Companies Law 1965 pay fees on registration and annual fees (2006) as follows:

Authorised Agents and Authorised Dealers : $310,000
Authorised Dealers : $250,000
Authorised Agents : $60,000
Other Public Institutions : $25,000
Restricted Bank and Trust : $5,000
Restricted Bank : $5,000
Restricted Trust : $2,500
Non-Active Bank and Trust : $1,000

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